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Sri Lankan cricket on the move in 2012

Sri Lankan cricket on the move in 2012

The Sri Lankan national cricket team and its management have undergone some major overhauls since their recently concluded tour of South Africa, where they lost by a margin of 2-1 in the Test matches and then fell to a 3-2 defeat in the ODI series, where they fared much better, losing the third ODI by just four runs thanks to the Duckworth/Lewis method and then won the final two ODIs.

Former Australian middle order batsman Geoff Marsh will step down as coach and hand his position on to South African Graham Ford, although the Sri Lanka Cricket is yet to confirm this change. Marsh took over from Stuart Law earlier in the year following Sri Lanka’s loss to India in the World Cup Final.

 

It has been a year of changes for the Lions in a year that started well with skipper Kumar Sangakkara leading from the front by scoring 465 runs and finishing as the tournament’s third highest run-scorer whilst taking the team to the final of the competition.

 

But he then passed on the mantle to the 2011 World Cup’s highest run scorer, Tilikaratne Dilshan, who made 500 runs in Sri Lanka’s campaign. Dilshan initially responded well to the task after Sri Lanka capitulated to an embarrassing innings loss to England in the first Test in Cardiff by bravely electing to bowl first in the second Test at Lords and then coming out and making 196 with a broken thumb before he was bowled by Chris Tremlett.

 

But after securing a draw in the third and final Test at the Rose Bowl, it was all downhill for the swashbuckling Sri Lankan opener; as his team slumped to a 125 run loss to Australia in the first Test in Galle before going on to lose the series 1-0. Sri Lanka then suffered the same fate in the United Arab Emirates at the hands of Pakistan as Dilshan’s leadership skills came into question.

 

And after Sri Lanka lost the first Test against South Africa by an innings margin, it looked to be much the same story for the beleaguered skipper. But he rose to the challenge and inspired his troops to a 208 run win over the Proteas in the second Test. And although he was unable to prevent a 10 wicket loss in the third and final Test, he scored 87 in the fourth ODI as Sri Lanka successfully chased a total in excess of 300.

 

Dilshan’s tenure with the captaincy has seen the emergence of many promising young talents such as wicketkeeper/batsman Dinesh Chandimal and versatile top-order batsman Lahiru Thirimanne, whilst he has also nurtured the talents of explosive allrounders Thisara Perera and Angelo Mathews, who was made vice-captain of the squad during their ODI series against England in May.

 

Nevertheless, perhaps in an attempt to re-energise the Lions for the coming year, Dilshan has handed the reigns to former captain and classy top-order batsman Mahela Jayawardene.

 

Jayawardene, who captained Sri Lanka with distinction during his time as skipper (winning the ICC International Captain of the Year award in 2006) will lead Sri Lanka in their upcoming series triangular ODI series against Australia and India after having led them when they last played the against the same opponents in Australia in 2008, where Sri Lanka narrowly missed out on a spot in the series final and India came out with the trophy.

 

Sri Lanka will play Australia and India four times each and have their first game against regional rivals India at the WACA Ground, Perth, on the 8th of February.

 

Posted on 2012-01-31 19:22:18
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QUESTION?

Should Dilshan have continued until Cricket World Cup 2019?

Yes No
THE DAY'S QUOTE

“That was pathetic. No excuse at all. The whole team is responsible. Whoever the captain is, we have to back him and try and support him. The captain has to do so many other stuff. All the 11 guys must back him and support him.” “We have addressed the issue of finishing off the overs on time in the past as well, but it cropped up again. It’s so unfortunate to see Upul going out as he is a crucial player in our set up. He batted well against South Africa and it’s so unfortunate. This can’t happen again,” - Angelo Mathews

FEEDBACK/COMMENTS

Cricket is a game of fine margins and Mathews is set to be a modern great. Hang in their Angie, this team can achieve something on this tour. Thirimane and the youngsters form was a real positive. Prasad was missed. Chameera should be persisted with. If Bairstow was our early outcome could have been very different.

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